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Vietnam Travel in Brief 14 december

2009-12-15 (GMT + 7)

Vietnam Travel in Brief 14 december,  Taiwan airline resumes Da Nang flights, Saigontourist prepares for Tet, Replica 30’s train carries tourists, Beauty named flower ambassador, Caged bears are off tour limits,

Taiwan airline resumes Da Nang flights

Taiwanese carrier TransAsia has said it would resume direct flights to Da Nang on December 26, four years after the service was suspended. It plans to operate an Airbus 321-132 aircraft between Da Nang and Taipei every Wednesday and Saturday. Direct flights from Osaka and Hong Kong will also begin to Da Nang this month.

Saigontourist prepares for Tet

Saigontourist Holding Company, chosen by HCM City to organise Tet activities, is making preparations for the holiday, including floral arrangements for Nguyen Hue Street, banh tet (sticky rice cake) demonstrations, and fireworks displays.

Decorations on Nguyen Hue Flower Street will be on display from February 11 to 16. Le Loi will become a pedestrian-only street where enjoy performances of traditional music and folk games will take place.

Saigontourist is collecting flowers and materials to set up the so-called flower street. Last year, 10,000 flower pots were displayed in the area.

Contests to make banh tet will be held, and the best cakes will be used as offerings to the Hung kings on the last day of the year. Saigontourist will give away 10,000 pieces to poor people. Fireworks will be seen at six locations on New Year’s Eve.

Replica 30’s train carries tourists

A train based on a 1930s French design began carrying tourists in the central highlands resort city of Da Lat last week.

The four-coach train offers sightseeing tours around Da Lat’s vegetable and flower gardens along 17km of rail between Da Lat and Trai Mat stations.

The route was part of the Da Lat-Thap Cham Railway built by the French in 1932 but the 84km railway was closed down in the late 1960s.

Building of the 1930s train began three months ago after local authorities restored the Da Lat-Trai Mat section for tourism in 1991.

Beauty named flower ambassador

Miss Viet Nam Tourism 2008, Phan Thi Ngoc Diem, has been selected as the Ambassador for the Da Lat Flower Festival in early 2010. Diem will pose for advertisements touting the beauty of the city of flowers and take part in celebrations to mark the event.

Dubbed Da Lat – The City of Flowers, the festival opening ceremony will be held on January 1, 2010. Nearly 3,000 professional and amateur artists will participate in the celebrations that will go on until January 4.

The entertainment will, obviously, be heavily flower-related – a flower orchestra, flower road, flower tower, and the old flower street. It will be the third flower festival to be hosted by Da Lat following earlier ones in 2005 and 2007.

Caged bears are off tour limits

Travel firms are prohibited from taking tourists to places that are known to have traded bear gall, the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said. VNAT has also asked provincial tourism authorities to inform local operators of the decision.

VNAT said the media has been reporting about so-called bear farms, especially ones in Ha Long town, which are offering tourists the chance to see bears being held in tiny cages and having gall extracted. Some also sell the gall.

The ban is expected to help slow the selling of bears to protect the species and avoid tarnishing the image of Viet Nam’s tourism.

Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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